Some would say that selecting a barrel of bourbon is all fun. It is a very enjoyable experience. Going to a barrel warehouse with a master distiller to thief a barrel is a true sensory experience. Even sitting with a group with samples pulled from barrels from a distillery too far away to drive, is a great way to learn about what styles each barrel represents. Not all barrel samples are a taste treat. Finding a barrel that sings is a wonderful way to pick a barrel. And thus, the challenge is finding the barrel that we feel represents our “house” style and is atypical when compared to the commercial versions selected by the master distillers.
Westport Whiskey & Wine’s “house” style relies on great aromatics, from fruit, cream, vanilla and wood spices. The flavor is rich, lush and not astringent. It may be robust and warm, but never harsh. When splashed the flavors should open-up all the more. We believe that the selections below truly represent our house style, and great values, too.
CURRENT SELECTIONS (09.25.20)
Russell’s Reserve, Single Barrel #20-0372, WW&W Selection, 110 proof, 750ml, $67.99
Another Classic Covid Selection selected by our good friend, Eddie Russell, Master Distillery at Wild Turkey. On many a barrel pick over the years with Eddie, there have been numerous times when he knew which of his barrels we would select, so we are confident in this selection. This selection is 8 ½ years old. Aromas of warm brown sugar, toffee and toast, with a nice bit of orange zest fill the glass. Nice spicy entry, warm red fruit with a wonderfully balanced mid-palate, sweet & spicy. A wonderful warm, peppery, finish hangs around inviting you back for another taste. Thanks, again, Eddie!
Rossville Union, Bottled-in-Bond, Rye, 100 proof, WW&W Single Barrel, 750ml, $51.99
The nose is very expressive, fruity, with orange peel and spicy clove. It starts out sweet then explodes with fruit and spice, think of a warm fruit cake where each taste delivers a new flavor. The finish is lovely, warm and long.
Wild Turkey, Kentucky Spirit, Bourbon, 101 proof, WW&W Single Barrel, 750ml, $71.99
COVID Pick by Eddie Russell on 13 July 2020! Aromas of well-oiled leather, with hints of mint, chocolate and cherry. Lush and creamy on entry, vanilla, brown sugar, toasted marshmallow, spicy, warm, long and lingering finish. Thanks Eddie for another wonderful selection.
New Riff, Bourbon, 106.4 proof, WW&W Single Barrel, 750ml, $49.99
Earthy, bright red fruit, bold spice and butterscotch, on the nose alone! There is the sweet red fruit from the nose on the entry. Pleasant middle with a hint of tobacco. The spice from the nose comes back in the finish with pepper and spice for a long warming finish.
Deadwood, Tumblin Dice, Bourbon, 110.9 proof, WW&W Single Barrel, 750ml, $58.99
The nose is heavy on cherry and vanilla, with only a small hint of spice cutting through. Upon taste there is the classic sweetness that is found in a good bourbon, very creamy. Pleasant middle. Woody with a slight tannic backend to make this a very drinkable glass of bourbon.
George Remus, Bourbon, 120.2 proof, WW&W Single Barrel, 750ml, $62.99
Aromas of vanilla pudding, nutmeg and wood spice. It is very smooth, creamy upon entry with a nice weight in the mouth with a lovely, spicy finish with hints of anise and sweet rye. Tasty!
Smooth Ambler, Barrel Strength, 119.6 proof, WW&W Single Barrel #23778, 750ml, $54.99
This is a 5yr MGP bourbon. Aromas of cinnamon, brown sugar with a hint of cigar tobacco jump out of the glass. The entry is creamy, sweet with a balanced mouthfeel that lasts long with a toasty, woody finish that is tamed with a drop of water or cube of ice. Enjoy!
Three Chord, 12yr WW&W Single Barrel, $84.99
This is the first barrel offered in Kentucky and we were glad it was offered to us. This was originally distilled at George Dickel, over 12 yrs ago. The barrels originally purchased from the distillery and moved to Michigan to age to maturity. We found this selection to be quite aromatic, toffee, coffee and cherry fruit. It is nutty, spicy with almond, cherry flavors. It has a long finish.
Pinhook Tiz Rye Time, WW&W Single Barrel, $63.99
Put into the barrel on September 15, 2015. This 4yr old plus rye has a grainy, rye aroma, lean and spicy. Frankly, it was YUMMY on entry with a nice balance. The finish was lovely and long.
WhistlePig, WW&W Single Barrel #2722, 117.7 proof, 750ml, $91.99
This is the 3rd of three barrels that Emily selected pre-Covid up in Vermont. It is sourced from Canada and aged in Vermont, the color is dark and rich, which implies an older whiskey than the stated 10yrs. The nose is complex, fruity, earthy, spicy, floral, toasty…It is warm on entry, not hot like its proof, 117.7, might imply. Round, dried apricot, rich, spicy and quite yummy with a spicy, balanced, warm finish.
Copper & Kings, American Brandy, WW&W Single Barrel Cask Selection, 126 proof, 750ml, $62.99
Selected on a rainy day in late Feb 2020, when Brandon O’Daniel, Master Distiller, said I have something you might like…OH BOY, did I!!!! The aroma was unbelievable, the taste was wonderful. I said I want it. 2 weeks later the world came to an end.
This is a 6yr old brandy from a blend of Chenin blanc, French Colombard, and Muscat Alexander. According to Master Distiller, Brandon O’Daniel, “This spirit is 100% copper and kings distilled and aged exclusively in a New American Oak barrel with a medium toast followed by a #2 char.” Aromas of baked apples and pears are supported by caramel, toasted vanilla, brown sugar with a finish of orange zest. The more you nose it the more you find to entice you. And in the mouth it is just as explosive in flavor. Rich, creamy, chocolaty, fruity, warm and a very, very, very long finish.
Barrell Bourbon, Single Barrel, Cask Strength, 14-year-old, WW&W Selection, 102.12 proof, 750ml, $115
This is our first barrel with Barrell Bourbon, and it is a great start! This 14 yr old selection weighs in at 102.12 proof. The nose is what caught our attention at the selection, it is fruity, fragrant with a wonderful spiciness. The taste was sweet, reminiscent of cotton candy and circus peanuts. There is toffee, spice, cream all laced together to offer a well-balanced, big mouthfeel with a long, long finish. YUMMY!
Knob Creek, Rye, Single Barrel #7971, WW&W Selection, 110 proof, 750ml, $58.99
Selected back in August 2019, this barrel was a clear standout. Tasted at 120.9 proof, which was very close the final proof of 120, so just a drop or two of water was all that was needed to determine the finished product. Aromas of vanilla, cream and spice. Initially it is spicy, spicy, spicy from start to finish. However, on the next taste the spicy flavor is laced with sweet, fruity flavors and it is lush and smooth from the start to the last swallow. A fun, flavorful rye. Enjoy.
WhistlePig, Rye, 15yr Single Barrel, WW&W Selection, 117.4 proof, 750ml, $250
This is the first barrel of 15yr released as a single barrel in Kentucky! The original fill date of this 100% Canadian Rye was 23 May 2003. It has aged in Vermont since 2014. In September 2019, it was filled into a finishing cask to age before being bottled in March 2020 (which makes it almost 17 years old). It is wonderfully complex in the aroma of dried fruits and exotic spices. The taste is at once bold and mouth-filling, yet it quickly starts to yield its layers of rich, round fruit, oily/buttery texture, rye spice, baking spice and more to discover. It finishes smooth, with just a bit of heat.
Selected and greatly anticipated:
Rossville Union Rye BIB
Kentucky Spirit Bourbon X’s 2
Knob Creek Bourbon X’s 2
Bulleit X’s 2
Rebel Yell X’s 2
Pinhook Bourbon (Castle & Key)
1792 Full Proof
Maker’s Mark Private Select Bourbon